— Published 25 April 2023

Wrestlers take to the streets

The case is not unprecedented, but its scenario may surprise. Several Indian wrestlers took to the streets on Monday 24 April in New Delhi to demand the arrest of the former president of the Indian Wrestling Federation, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The former sports leader, who is also a member of parliament in the ruling Hindu nationalist party (BJP), is accused of sexual harassment and intimidation. He is under investigation by the Indian Olympic Committee. But it is moving slowly, if at all. A stagnation that led the wrestlers, including several Olympic medalists, to march in the streets in the hope of being better heard. According to Sakshi Malik, bronze medalist at the Rio 2016 Games, the athletes “fear for their lives but have nevertheless shown courage. We are now appealing to all athletes, political parties and wrestling elders to join us.” A complaint was formally filed late last week by several wrestlers, including a minor, against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. But no investigation has yet been launched by the police. NDTV reported on Monday that the federal government has decided to dissolve the wrestling federation. The federation’s powers would be entrusted to a temporary body while new elections are held. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has been out of the presidency since the beginning of the year, will not be allowed to seek a new term.